Even those of us who travel frequently for work get annoyed sometimes. Whether it’s the rude person in line at the airport or the noisy hotel room neighbor, there are plenty of travel faux pas out there that we wish people would avoid committing. At TripIt, we recently conducted a comprehensive survey of these travel annoyances, which you can read here for flying and here for hotels. We decided to follow up on the results with our amazing group of Twitter chat participants.
What’s a Twitter chat? For those not familiar, TripIt holds a monthly chat on Twitter on the third Thursday of each month from 2 to 3 p.m. Pacific Time on the hashtag #TripItChat. Every month there’s a new travel topic where we encourage participants to share advice with one another. To learn more, please see: http://landlopers.com/2013/05/01/tripitchat/
Here are some of the key takeaways from our last #TripItChat on Travel Faux Pas.
Flying tends to bring out the worst in people for some reason. Maybe it’s the stress of making the flight or perhaps they’re just having a collectively bad day, but some of the worst behavior we’ve seen by fellow travelers has been at the airport. We asked our participants how they stay calm when in the presence of these disruptive passengers.
- One answer is to escape internally, just as @FullertonImages does when he puts on his headphones and jams to great music.
- Reflecting the new impact social media has on the travel experience, @KathyBuckworth said she tweets passive aggressively about the offender.
- The most popular answer without a doubt involved the airport bar, as @travel_boomer indicated when she said she finds the nearest glass of red wine.
- In what is probably a sign of good travelers, many other chat participants said they just ignore these rude people–unless they get out of hand!
Don’t make me turn this plane around
The topic of kids and travel is sometimes a controversial one, especially when there are multiple kids acting up on a flight. In TripIt’s survey, 57 percent said misbehaving kids on planes was their #1 pet peeve, so we asked the chat participants for their top tips for flying with kids.
- Tweeter @WeChaseSummer made the great point that setting expectations is important. Let the kids know what the flight will be like and how they should behave.
- Diversions are key according to our chatting parents, including iPads, books, snacks, and whatever favorite activities the kids may have.
- For other fliers, chat cohost @OrlandoChris said to choose an aisle seat. Kids aren’t likely to be seated behind you and this way you can avoid seat kicking.
- For the best answer, though, we turn to travel expert @SandiMcKenna, who said to just have patience and hope everyone else around you does too.
You took what?!
Hotels deal with a lot of strange situations, including theft. We’re not necessarily talking about grabbing the flat screen TV on your way out, but we did ask our followers what items THEY have taken from hotel rooms.
- Frequent traveler @jonk said he most often takes the laundry bags found in the closets. This is a great tip if you’re looking for a way to separate your dirty clothes.
- Soaps were a popular answer, especially nice ones from brands like Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, Kempinski, and, of course, Mandarin Oriental.
- I personally always take the pens; I’m constantly losing them and it’s a good way to keep stocked up. I was happy to see that fellow chat co-host @LeeAbbamonte also snags these from rooms.
- Sometimes hotels offer unusual items and chat participant @JustTravelous apparently loves taking items like bug spray and power adapters from hotels she visits.
You’ve just settled into your hotel room after a long flight and all you want to do is relax, and then the worst happens: noise, lots of it, all coming from the room next door. We’ve all been there and so we asked our chatters how they deal with this travel faux pas.
- Choosing the civilized route, @autiglobetrot notifies the front desk and hopes for the best.
- Not wanting to be outdone though, chat co-host @OrlandoChris usually decides to show them what loud is all about.
- Some folks were more positive about it though, including @micheleherrmann, who said she knocks and asks to join in the fun!
- I tend to be passive aggressive at times, and apparently so does chat participant @WanderfulWorld1, who said she does nothing at the time, then complains the following day.
Tipping, especially in hotels, has been in the news a lot lately, but it’s hard to know who to tip and when. Since we know our followers on TripIt are all pro travelers, we asked them directly what they think proper hotel tipping etiquette looks like.
- For non-cleaning staff, @jonk says he avoids using any extra help and thus avoids tipping.
- Many participants said that if they’re on business travel they tend not to tip, but they always do when on a personal vacation. Maybe companies need to allow hotel tipping as a reimbursable expense?
- @OrlandoChris says he never “auto-tips,” but instead he rewards exceptional service that goes above and beyond the norm.
- Chat cohost @RickGriffin summed it up well though when he tweeted: “tips are proportional to the quality of service and friendliness.”
If you travel a lot then you know that fellow travelers can really be out of control sometimes. Leaving home seems to bring out the worst in people, and so we asked our chatters to share their stories of the most outrageous behavior they’ve ever seen on the road. The answers were, um, interesting to say the least.
- Travel expert @TravelBlggr said she once saw a family with so much carry-on luggage that they literally brought a wheelbarrow to haul it all.
- Once while flying, @WeChaseSummer saw someone once take another’s seat on the plane and then made them switch seats with her!
- @SmarterBlog highlighted another faux pas–drinking too much. So many folks get drunk at airports and then cause terrible tantrums up in the air.
- The most common reply though was incredible rudeness. Far too many people treat airline and hotel service staff horribly and that behavior needs to stop.
What are some travel faux pas you’ve seen on the road?
Don’t forget to join us for the next #TripItChat on November 20, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. Pacific/5:00 p.m. Eastern when we’ll be talking about Holiday Travel Tips!